News

While with Dodgers, Gabe Kapler reportedly failed to alert police of assault on underage girl



Kapler prior to a July 2018 game vs the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he was employed at time of the incident in question. (Matt Veasey/Phillies Nation)

According to a report published this evening, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler allegedly failed to report to authorities an incident involving a pair of minor league prospects in which an underage girl was assaulted while Kapler was with the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2015.

The piece by Will Hobson, Christian Red and Teri Thompson with contributions by Julie Tate for The Washington Post states that Kapler was informed of the situation by both the 17-year-old female victim and the girl’s grandmother.

Kapler was the director of player development for the Dodgers at the time. The girl reportedly related that she had been drinking and dancing with two Dodgers prospects and two other women, one of whom she believed was the girlfriend of one of the players, while in the players hotel room near the Dodgers spring training complex.

The girl stated that she consumed about a half-bottle of wine and then the following occurred, according to the article: “she vomited on the bed, angering the two women, who threw her out of the room, kicking and punching her in the process. Rather than come to her aid…one of the Dodgers players videotaped the beating on his phone, and then posted the video on Snapchat.”

In her email to Kapler, the girl reportedly wrote the following:

The boys (players) got me drunk and the girls beat me up. Your player . . . videotaped it all.

Kapler reportedly phoned the grandmother, apologized, and offered the girl help in the form of food, a place to stay, even money for a doctor.

Kapler also offered to arrange a dinner meeting between himself, the two players involved, the grandmother, and the girl. After the grandmother balked at this suggestion, Kapler responded:

This dinner is our initiative. We will ensure [the girl’s] safety. We believe we can teach valuable lessons to all involved through this method of follow up.

It is alleged that Kapler did not alert law enforcement authorities. The following week, a case manager with the Arizona Department of Child Safety contacted law enforcement. When officers interviewed the girl, she stated that she had also been sexually assaulted by one of the players while in a nearly unconscious state.

Glendale police opened an investigation, but reportedly were stymied by both a lawyer hired by the Dodgers to represent one of the players and by the failure of the young girl, who they suspected was a victim of human trafficking, to cooperate further. No formal charges have ever been filed in the case.

The article goes on to state that the involved player was released in April 2015 and then played one more season in the minors before ending his playing career.

David Derickson, the attorney hired to represent the unnamed player alleged in the original police report to have committed the sexual assault, was quoted by the Post writers: “That was something that happened a number of years ago, and I felt we did what we needed to do to clear up whether or not there would be any charges.

For his part, Kapler states that he was not made aware of the alleged sexual assault during those initial conversations and emails with the girl or the grandmother. According to the article he “said his actions were in line with club policy and advice offered by Dodgers’ lawyers and human resources personnel.”

The article goes on to say that in a statement this week, Kapler stated “There was never an offer for money of any sort nor any payments considered or made.

This was not the only such incident that Kapler had to deal with that year. Another Dodgers minor leaguer was accused of harassing and then sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper during 2015.

In response to that incident, Adam Rawnsley at The Daily Beast reported that Kapler met with the manager of the Hampton Inn. He then emailed Dodgers officials and per Rawnsley wrote: “…his report made me feel embarrassed for our organization. I assured him that we’d address the situation swiftly and that this would not be an issue going forward.

While it remains unclear exactly how much Kapler may have been informed regarding the incident involving the earlier underage girl, there certainly are troubling issues here. It would appear at the very least that law enforcement should have been notified immediately. This is especially so if there was any idea that the young woman involved was a minor.

 

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. czontixhldr

    February 1, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Matt, in the article is say the girl consumed about half a bottle of vodka, not wine.

    “The girl had been partying a few nights before with two Dodgers minor leaguers and two women, she wrote, drinking Ciroc vodka and dancing in one of the players’ hotel rooms here, near the Dodgers’ spring training complex.

    After consuming about half the bottle…”

  2. Will

    February 1, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Who cares. This is not news and has nothing to do with baseball.

  3. Bigdog jb

    February 2, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Unfortunate.
    Good intentions but Faulty thinking and misguided leadership in handling an embarrassing incident involving immature stupid-thinking and hurtful actions of all the young people involved.
    An embarrassment for the team that may set them back five years.
    Middleton, here’s a test of your leadership. Do you have the bias for taking the appropriate action ? As a free agent do I want to get involved in this soap opera?
    Waiting all winter for the clown show to end and now comedy turns to drama and tragedy. Sad.

  4. Bigdog

    February 2, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Good intentions driven by bad judgment and poorly executed leadership.
    Immaturity and stupidity and viciousness exhibited by all the young people.
    As a free agent, do I want to join this clown show? This can set us back five years.
    Middleton you must step up and correct this immediately.
    Sad and embarrassing for the Phillies. I hurt as a longtime fan.

    • czontixhldr

      February 2, 2019 at 8:20 am

      How is Middleton supposed to “correct” this?

      It seems to me you are grossly rushing to judgement. Did you read the article in the WaPo, or just the one above?

  5. Jeff Orbach

    February 2, 2019 at 8:49 am

    I wonder how many times incidents like this happen in the minors? It may be that the Dodgers are wary of people trying to get money out of incidents like this. I wonder if this would have even come up if Kapler wasn’t a major league manager.

  6. Jeff Orbach

    February 2, 2019 at 9:30 am

    I also think that Kapler would be acting under the instructions of the Dodgers legal team, not on his own.

  7. Al Wallace

    February 2, 2019 at 10:11 am

    In this age of “me too” one must wonder; 1) why did the girl report to this to Kapler, 2) Why she didn’t call her parents instead, and 3) Why did she not call the police, and 40 Where did she get Kapler’s name and number, 5) Why eventually were there no charges filed.

    No facts, no evidence, innocence is always assumed in our legal system, this hype is only sensationalism.

    • Matthew Veasey

      February 2, 2019 at 10:36 am

      This happened in February 2015, four years ago and well before the “Me Too” movement, so it didn’t occur in that “age” at all.

      This was a 17-year-old reported runaway, so there’s your reasoning in not contacting parents. She did, however, almost immediately call her grandmother. She almost certainly reached out to that family, hoping they could offer advice/guidance and possibly intervene, rather than law enforcement out of fear. She was, after all, a runaway. Also, the later Arizona police investigation resulted in police believing that she was likely a victim of human trafficking, adding more fuel to the fear fire.

      It’s a great question as to how she got Kapler’s name (she emailed him, not a call.) How would a 17-year-old girl have the name and email of the director of player development for a Major League Baseball club? If anything, that makes it worse. Did Kapler have some contact with her previously? Did she email the Dodgers, and someone shuffled her over to Kapler?

      If you read the full Washington Post article, which is linked a couple of times in my piece, you get the answer for why no charges. The team hired a lawyer for the accused player, and that lawyer helped stonewall the process. Then the young girl declined to cooperate, again the authorities believe out of fear and mistrust of the system.

      Yes, innocence is always assumed in the American justice system. But no reasonable thinker would find, after reading the facts outlined by the WaPo here, that this was either pure hype and sensationalism. Nor was it an isolated incident, as the relation near the end of my piece highlights with the second similar incident that same year.

      • William

        February 2, 2019 at 1:16 pm

        It seems Kapler was more interested in the Rep and protection of his player than the welfare of an under age girl .
        Bad moral judgement again , like Penn State where the Interest of Institution or Person in power over the welfare of Children1

        Kalper should at least be Suspended until through investigation is done !

        With ” ALL” the things that on the Phillies Plate in this offseason, this is the” LAST” thing that this Organization needs !

        • czontixhldr

          February 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm

          Wait, what? He offered to help the girl, and now he’s a bad guy?

          I pray for you that you don’t get judged by moral preeners like yourself.

      • czontixhldr

        February 2, 2019 at 2:25 pm

        Matt, you use very pejorative language and seem to lack any knowledge of how our legal system works. “Stonewalled?” I am not sorry to inform you that THAT IS the process.

        What do you suppose a lawyer’s job is in that situation? Is he supposed to throw his client under the bus? No, he’s supposed to protect him, and if in his judgment it’s not advisable for his client to talk to the police, so be it.

        And all of the folks here and elsewhere that are posting as though Kapler was a perpetrator are out of their minds.

        And your speculative insinuation that her getting access to Kapler’s email is a sign of something untoward on Kapler’s part is unfair, to say the least.

        Yes, the girl was assaulted (beaten by other women). Why didn’t she or her guardian (the state) file charges against the women? And why didn’t she contact the police initially instead of Kapler? Was it an attempted shakedown?

        Was she fondled by the player? She said so, but there were no witnesses, so you really don’t know. And was it consentual at the time? Two weeks later (after any involvement by Kapler, BTW) she said it wasn’t. So why weren’t charges filed by her guardian or the police?

        That was Kapler’s fault?

        The whole thing stinks, but don’t expect me to join the social media lynching of Kapler.

        I’m not sure he did anything “wrong” except contact his bosses and legal counsel for advice and try to make things right for the girl.

  8. Jeff Orbach

    February 2, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    I would also like to wonder out loud, if Klentak really did a thorough review before hiring Kapler?

  9. Broad and Snyder

    February 3, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    This is a cya statement by Kapler. This should be a zero tolerance situation that requires immediate dismissal.

    • czontixhldr

      February 3, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      Zero tolerance of what? What is it that Kapler did that requires dismissal? I’m not enamored of the guy as a manager, but please explain what HE DID that you believe requires his dismissal?

      Did HE assault the girl? Did HE allegedly fondle her?

      Again, what did HE do that you think should cost him his job?

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